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welcome to nhk world "newsline." the governments that keep an eye on north korea say the reclusive nation is going ahead with its next long-range ballistic missile launch. south korean sources say crews in the north have apparently installed the first section of a three-stage missile at a launch facility. north korean authorities maintain they're only firing off a rocket to put a satellite into orbit. they made the announcement saturday. they say the launch will happen between december 10th and 22nd and that the rocket will head
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south. they held a similar launch in april that ended in failure. south korean government sources say they believe the missile's first-stage booster has been moved on to a launch pad at a facility in the northwestern part of the country. south korean officials discussed the planned launch with ambassadors from japan and three other countries. south korean foreign ministry officials met separately with envoys from japan, the united states, china, and russia, all members of the six-party talks on north korea's nuclear program. details of the meetings haven't been released, but it's believed the five nations discussed ways to convince officials in pyongyang to cancel the launch. south korea plans to send two aegis vessels capable of tracking missiles to the yellow sea to observe the launch. the monitoring will be done in coordination with u.s. forces. defense officials in seoul are also considering raising the country's alerstatus by one notch.
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japan's self-defense forces are on the alert in advance of this possible missile launch. the maritime sdf vessel carrying pac-3 missile interceptors has left its home port in hiroshima bound for okinawa. the pac-3 surface-to-air missiles are capable of shooting down debris should it come near the ground. the interceptors will be placed at several sites in okinawa. defense ministry officials expect the missile's flight path could take it over the islands of okinawa. commanders say they'll deploy aegis cruisers in those waters. they say they would only react if debris from a missile fell over japanese territory. investigators are trying to understand why a highway tunnel near tokyo collapsed. panels on the tunnel's ceiling gave way, trapping people inside. nine people were killed. the accident happened sunday morning along a highway connecting tokyo to other parts of central japan. operators say bolts holding up concrete panels on the ceiling
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may have been defective. the operators say more than 300 panels suddenly fell. the debris covered a distance of more than 100 meters. the tunnel itself runs almost five kilometers. three vehicles were trapped inside. firefighters say two of them were buried in the rubble. one caught fire. highway officials say the tunnel was built in 1977, but no records exist of workers replacing the bolts and hooks that hold up the ceiling. the collapse happened just after 8:00 in morning. people were out enjoying a day off or heading to work. investigators say as many as 25 vehicles were in the tunnel at the time. an nhk reporter was in one of the vehicles. yoshio goto narrowly avoided being crushed. he used the camera on his mobile phone to capture these pictures moments later. >> translator: this is what happened to my car in the accident.
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i witnessed the moment when a portion of the ceiling came off. i saw it happen through the mirror on the sun visor of the passenger seat. i stepped on the accelerator to get out of there. i heard the ceiling collapsing. i managed to drive through and get out of the tunnel despite ceiling panel fragments raining down. >> many of the other drivers and passengers escaped on foot, leaving their vehicles behind. >> translator: i saw what appeared to be a truck lying on its side. when i looked closely, i realized the ceiling had crushed it. >> translator: i saw a fire burning so widely, you could see it burning from far away.
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the flames were rising high. >> emergency teams put out the fire, but fears another collapse forced them to suspend the rescue effort at one point. when they got back to it, they found a cooler truck buried in the debris nine hours after the collapse. the driver had been calling for help. rescuers took him to the hospital where medical staff confirmed he had died. tunnel officials said inspectors performed routine checks in september and didn't find any problems. however, they admit they could have looked harder. nhk world's chiaki ichikawa explains. >> reporter: the concrete ceiling panels in the tunnel hang horizontally. there is about five meters of space between the panels and the top of the tunnel. it allows for air to flow in and out. metal fittings attach the panels to the sides of the tunnel and
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to the tunnel's dome-shaped top. each panel is 1.2 meters wide and 5 meters long. they weigh about a ton. bolts are used to support the weight. spokespersons for the central nippon expressway say the bolts connecting the ceiling panels to the top of the tunnel came loose. the bolts are 23 centimeters long and embedded into the top of the tunnel. when inspectors checked the structure earlier this fall, they only did a visual check of the hardware. >> translator: we regret we didn't check the parts and bolts at the top of the tunnel by knocking them, even though they are located high up. >> reporter: there is no record of workers replacing or repairing any bolts or metal fittings since the tunnel opened
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in 1977. experts say every part matters to maintaining the integrity of a structure. >> translator: even such a small part, i mean, bolts, caused this serious accident. so i think the operators should review what they're doing to maintain safety. >> reporter: central nippon expressway officials say 12 tunnels across the country have the same structure as the one that collapsed. the government has ordered inspections. japan has more than 350 tunnels that are 30 years or older. experts say operators must check all of these structures to make sure they are safe. chiaki ishikawa, nhk world, tokyo. government auditors say the collapsed tunnel was not as strong as it should be.
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they shey told the tunnel's operator before it was opened to address the problem. the board of audit says it inspected the tunnel's construction in 1976, a year before it opened. they say it found problems related to faulty construction. concrete covering the curved ceiling was reportedly thinner than planned and lacked strength. it has yet to be determined whether the collapse took place where the auditors found the problems. the central nippon expressway says the tunnel was strengthened after the inspection. it says it does not think the faults cited by the inspectors caused the collapse. japanese politicians are just hours away from launching their official campaigns for this month's general election. things get going tuesday. voters go to the polls in mid-december to pick lawmakers for the lower house. a new nhk poll is giving insight into what they might be thinking when they cast their ballots.
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we surveyed more than 4,000 voters. 31% say the economy is the most important issue in this campaign. 22% cite social security reform. 13% say energy policy. including the use of nuclear power is their top issue. we also asked voters who they believe is more qualified to be prime minister after the lower house elections. 20% say the leader of the governing democratic party . 20% say the leader of the governing democratic party yoshihiko noda, who is currently prime minister. 25% say the leader of the main opposition liberal democratic party, shinzo abe. 49% say neither. our poll also suggests the approval rating for noda's cabinet has hit a record low of 21%. that's down one percentage point from a survey taken a week ago. the disapproval rating fell by two percentage points to 62%. many of the people we spoke to seemed eager to cast ballots on december 16th. 88% told nhk they would go out to vote.
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new auto sales in japan fell in november for a third straight month, but the pace of decline was so slow that it was almost flat. industry groups said on monday that 393,000 cars, trucks, and buses were sold in the country last month. that's down 0.4% from a year earlier. many vehicle sales rose 4.6%, but larger vehicles posted a drop of 3.3%. the decline is attributed to the end of the government subsidies for buyers of fuel-efficient vehicles in september. honda motors sales were up 22.5%. that's due to brisk sales of its new mini car. toyota motor saw its sales increase 1.5%. while nissan motor suffered a drop of 15.2%. strained diplomatic relations kept japanese auto
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sales in china down. but the latest figures suggest some signs of bottoming out. back in october toyota, mazda and fuji heavy industries posted year-on-year sales declines of between 40% and 70%. but the numbers for november released on monday show that toyota sales fell 22%, mazda showed a drop of nearly 30%, and fuji about 55%. the somewhat better numbers for november are traced to stepped-up outside sales campaigns by the japanese companies. they also provided financial support for vehicles damaged during anti-japan protests in china in september over a territorial dispute. japan market observers have something to be cheerful about despite the global downturn. firms have increased corporate capital spending for a fourth straight quarter. finance ministry officials said monday that capital investment
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from july to september totalled about $107 billion. that's an increase of 2.2% in yen terms from last year. analysts said the ministry surveyed over 30,000 companies with capital of over 10 million yen. automakers expanded production to build new models of cars. consumers rushing for smartphones led to mobile phone carriers investing more in facilities. appliance makers showed sluggish capital spending due to falling television sales, but this was offset by industry-wide increases. corporate directors found sales down 4.4% year-on-year, marking the second consecutive quarter of decline, but their pretax profits rose 6.3%, up for a third straight quarter. ministry officials say the rate of increase in capital spending is slowing. they're calling for continued caution over the economic outlook amid uncertainties in europe and china. some encouraging words from france's central bank chief
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about the eurozone economy. he says it's gradually regaining market confidence. bank of france governor christian noyer spoke in tokyo on monday. he said concerns over europe's debt crisis have now eased somewhat. >> the ures financial situation has improved over the past few months. long-term bond yields are long-term bond yields are falling sharply in spain, for instance, and showing positive signs, among others, that point to a gradual return of confidence to the euro area. >> noyer noted borrowing costs for spain, france and other countries in the region have declined that he pointed out is due in part to a european central bank program to buy bonds of debt-ridden nations. the governor also said a stable bond market is necessary for every central bank to implement effective monetary policy. most nuclear powers plants
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in japan are offline after last year's disaster. another energy-saving campaign is now under way to avert power shortages this winter. the government and power companies are calling on households and businesses to reduce electricity usage through late march. this is to cope with heating demand during the cold season. the campaign covers all parts of the country except for the southern most prefecture of okinawa. officials are asking customers in hokkaido, japan's coldest region, to cut back on energy use by 7% from the level before the nuclear accident. this is the fourth time that japan has launched an energy-saving campaign since the disaster. people in south korea are seeing signs that people in many other countries are seeing -- more and more gray hair. one out of every ten people there is over 65.
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president lee myung-bak focused on economic growth, but many say he failed to do anything about social welfare. and the person who succeeds him after the election this month will inherit a wealth of challenges. nhk world's kaho izumitani reports. >> reporter: people in many cities have to weave through the crowds during the morning rush hour. kim on suk in seoul does that in seoul every day. he gets on the subway with a cart weighing 50 kilograms. he's 73 years old. kim earns around $600 a month delivering parcels all over the city. >> translator: this job means a lot to me financially. i will have to find another one if i lose it. >> reporter: elderly who live in urban centers provide a lot of similar services. they say they're happy just to
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have a job. south korea introduced the public pension system 13 years ago. people who paid into it for at least ten years receive a pension. but just under a third of the population age 65 and above has managed to contribute. they earn an average of about $275, so most have to keep working. some elderly who live in rural areas are pushed to their limits. this is the intensive care unit for people struggling with pesticide abuse. it launched last year in response to growing numbers of elderly patients trying to end their lives by drinking the poison. this hospital has the country's only care unit for pesticide abuse. doctors say 95% of the patients carried into the unit arrive after attempting suicide.
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>> translator: it used to be rare for people in their 80s and 90s to take their own lives, but the number of cases is on the rise. most are connected with financial issues. >> reporter: statistics show many suicides occur in farming communities. many seniors work their land. pesticides are always at close reach. two years ago officials at the local mental health center started placing what they called a pesticide safety box outside the homes of elderly people. the idea is to keep the pesticides locked up and out of sight. the officials visit at least once a month. they go over safety instructions and make sure all the poison is where it should be. and they set up a telephone hotline so that seniors in
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trouble could talk to someone at any hour. >> translator: i live here alone. the officials occasionally pop in to say hi. i fell like they're my daughters and sons. >> reporter: officials say they have to make frequent visits to build up trust and spot signs of trouble. they say they haven't seen any suicides since they started their program. they know more people need help, but they have a limited budget and few staff. >> translator: people who are less well off tend to have health issues or look sad. i worry that no matter how hard we try, a suicide could happen. >> reporter: he says he and his colleagues know if there's a problem as soon as they step in the door. the people he sees aren't asking for much, just a little dignity near the end of their lives.
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kaho izumitani, nhk world, seoul. >> for more on this issue i earlier talked with nhk reporter reporter kaho izumitani. so, kaho, south korea is known for a lot of its economic successes. we hear about that all the time, but rarely do we hear about the elderly, and it seems to happen in this country. they're struggling a lot. >> that's right. the traditional extended family is on the verge of collapse. there's still a strong influence of confucionism in south korean society which means there's a sense of respect for the elderly. but today young people in south korea too busy with work and studies to take care of seniors. >> translator: our society is aging rapidly, but we haven't been able to cope with dramatic change. that's why suicide in elderly are on the rise. naturally, poverty is the main cause. but given the type of public finances, we cannot expect public pensions to solve all the
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problems straight away. in 2025 -- by 2025, one in five south koreans will be 65 or older, so making sure these people can take care of themselves or receive care is going to become a bigger issue. >> another aging -- >> exactly. >> -- asian society as we see. what are the presidential candidates proposing to do on the pension issue? >> the government launched a program four years ago to provide a monthly stipend of about $90. this is for the people who couldn't pay in enough to the pension system. but critics say the amount is too low. and the two front-runners of the presidential election race agree. park geun-hye of the ruling saenuri party says the stipend should be raised to nearly $190 per person. >> translator: i want to increase the proportion of middle-class people in south korea to 70% and rebuild
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society. >> park's main opponent, moon jae-in, of the opposition democratic united party, wants to institute a stipend of $180 for everyone 65 or older regardless of their income. >> translator: social welfare is not a benefit. it is the state's duty to provide it and a citizen's right to receive it. >> but some analysts argue reserve funds for the national pension system will run out in the 2050s. so it's unclear how south korea's next president will be able to offer citizens a bigger pension. a secret coded letter written by french emperor napoleon bonaparte during his ill-fated 1812 russian campaign has fetched ten times the expected bid at auction. the letter was sold for 187,500
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euros, or more than $240,000, at an auction outside paris on sunday. napoleon wrote of his plans to blow up the kremlin at 3:00 a.m. on october 22nd. he used a numerical code to keep the details secret. he sent the letter to a subordinate in paris as he was retreating from moscow. he and his soldiers met strong resistance from the russian military in the campaign. his efforts to blow up the kremlin were thwarted, though much of the city was put to the torch. a british singer has set a new guinness world record. his achievement? giving the world's coldest concert. charlie simpson undertook the challenge in the remote russian village of oymyakon. the siberian town is the coldest permanently inhabited place on earth. ♪ welcome to my
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>> with temperatures near minus 30 degrees celsius, simpson's guitar strings froze, but he managed to play for 15 minutes. a small audience of local women gathered to witness the feat. >> after the second solo i nearly -- i thought about stopping because my fingers -- one of the most painful experiences in my life. i just kind of pushed on after that, but it was incredibly painful. >> british media are praising simpson as the world's coolest singer. a typhoon is heading towards the philippines. rachel ferguson has the latest in weather. rachel? >> hi there, yes, indeed. bopha left destruction in palau, now it's heading to the philippines where it's expected to make landfall on tuesday morning as a typhoon. so maintaining strength right now. in fact, the winds right now are sustained at 180 kilometers per hour with gusts exceeding 250 kilometers per hour. so high waves as well as storm surge are going to be major concerns. in addition to the flooding that
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could occur from the storm surge, there will be plenty of rain, as well. in fact, as much as 180, maybe 200 millimeters anywhere you're seeing popping up in the red here when all is said and done from this storm. so we'll be tracking it as it goes. certainly enough rain to cause considerable flooding. we know that already transport has been shut down and people are -- in transit have been stranded for the people being will just have to just wait out the storm see what happens with this one. we'll be keeping you updated. as we head to the bigger picture here in eastern asia, quite quiet, but japan has not one but two low-pressure systems moving through. now, it's going to be bringing some cool showers across honshu towards the north of honshu, about 100 millimeters of rain. so pretty heavy stuff. and then there's going to be snow for hokkaido. the pacific side of northern japan is going to be worst hit. thunderstorms in that, as well. clearing up mostly by tuesday
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afternoon for much of honshu, but the snow will continue on into wednesday further up in hokkaido. it's going to be maybe about 20 to 30 centimeters of snow for northern honshu as well as hokkaido, and it will be blowing around as well. so that will make for difficult driving conditions. and temperatures really falling away here. 14 degrees on tuesday in tokyo. not too bad. but zero in seoul. that's due to drop to about minus 2 on thursday for your high. minus 19 in ulan bator is expected to drop to minus 23 on thursday. shanghai, 10 degrees expected. of course further down in the tropics we're still seeing very hot temperatures. 34 in bangkok. 32 in manila. as we head on into the americas, it's going to be another wet day for you along the west coast from b.c. down through northern california. you've hood had a bit of a break. another round of rain coming in. and some very strong winds here, too. not much changed since last week. another low moving here through eastern canada. that will bring maybe 30 centimeters of snow to northern ontario as well as quebec. blowing and drifting snow here, too, so, again, difficult
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driving conditions. along the cold front, it's not going to be too severe. you'll see a few thunderstorms in that rain, but certainly temperatures will be falling as the front passes. that said, though, we're seeing some unseasonably warm temperatures across the east at the moment. chicago, 19 degrees. 24 in oklahoma city. 19 for you in d.c. with 16 in new york city. all right. let's go now to europe. a very messy picture here. the western locations are starting to see a low and frontal system moving through. that's going to be producing plenty of precipitation. and a lot of it is going to be snow here, as well. the same goes for the east. we've got a couple of lows here, one moving through the eastern mediterranean coming in to turkey. that will be bringing some severe thunderstorms and snow for the northern balkans. and the reason is really rapid drop in temperatures into wednesday. look at where the jet stream is moving all way down to the south here, letting all of that frigid air just fall in, and we will be seeing a drop of maybe about five degrees in london, between monday and tuesday, athens also
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dropping by five degrees down to 13 for the high on your wednesday. here's your extended forecast. ♪ we'll be back with more updates in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk world, thanks for join us.
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have a great day wherever you are.
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Newsline 30min
KCSMMHZ December 3, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PST

NEWSLINE updates viewers with the latest hard news every hour, covering world events and business-related news, as well as providing global weather forecasts.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Nhk 8, South Korea 7, Seoul 5, Tokyo 5, Hokkaido 4, Okinawa 4, Honshu 4, China 4, Toyota 3, Europe 3, France 3, Kremlin 2, Fuji 2, North Korea 2, Paris 2, Mazda 2, Spain 2, Us 2, Rachel 1, Simpson 1
Duration 00:30:00
Rating TV-PG
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Off-Air Channel 43
Tuner Channel 43 (647 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
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